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How will the Food Security Bill affect poor fellow citizens?
India is home to over 1.2 billion people, and close to 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. It is more shocking to note that 68.7 percent of the population lives on less than Rs 108 (US $2) per day. To eradicate poverty in India and to uplift the status of the poor and the underprivileged, the government came up with the Food Security Bill.
Although the aim of the Food Security Bill is to improve the welfare of the citizens, it has been met with a number of criticisms over the past few months. This is because India is facing many challenges, including high rate of inflation, slow economic growth, high unemployment rate and fiscal deficit.
Sadly, the government has not been able to solve the existing problems. And on top of that, it has added the Food Security Bill to its long list of government initiatives. Although many individuals are unaware as to how India will come up with sufficient funds to solve economic, political and social problems that exist today, people are hopeful that the Food Security Bill will help the poor citizens of India.
Through the Food Security Bill, the government will be providing food grains at extremely low prices to 67 percent of the population in both urban and rural areas.
In fact, the Food Security Bill promises to sell wheat at Rs 2 per kilogram, rice at Rs 3 per kilogram and other food grains at Rs 1 per kilogram. Every month, a family will be entitled to 35 kg of food grains at the aforementioned rates.
The government has sought the help of the Helping Hand Youth Welfare Association for the distribution of food grains among low-income families.
According to government officials, close to 62 million tonnes of food grains will be distributed to the poor. This will definitely help the poor Indian citizens, who are living hand to mouth and finding it difficult to make ends meet amidst the rising inflation.
Currently, the market prices for one kilogram of rice and wheat stand at Rs 20 and Rs 16 respectively. So, the government is doing its citizens a huge favour by distributing food at extremely low prices.
Initially, as per the Food Security Bill, every family living below the poverty line was only entitled to 5 kg of food grains per month. This has been increased to 35 kg as per the latest amendment. If implemented successfully, the Food Security Bill will be able to change the face of India forever.
In addition, the Food Security Bill will be a game changer for the upcoming elections if majority of the population benefits from the government programme.
Famine is a common problem in the Indian subcontinent. There is a widespread scarcity of food in the country because of crop failure, unfavourable weather conditions, and population imbalance. With the implementation of the Food Security Bill, India will witness a significant reduction in mortality rates. A report published in Media stated that 50 percent of deaths among children are attributed to malnutrition. The Food Security Bill is indeed a ray of hope for millions of people in India.
The Indian government has been able to come up with great policies to eradicate poverty. However, the test lies in implementing these policies successfully. If the Indian government is able to implement the Food Security Bill successfully amidst the rising inflation and low economic growth, India will definitely become a role model for all developing countries in the world. In addition, the Food Security Bill will be able to restore the confidence of the Indian citizens in its government.